The case of China is of interest among other things for showing that a socialist system can coexist with markets. The debate over whether China is capitalist stops at the point where we see that in reality the system is a mysterious hybrid.
We should be wary of saying so but China points to the way a solution to the capitalism/socialism dilemma can be found. But the failure to also produce democracy condemns the result.
Our DMNC model contains the elements missing in the Chinese model but the fact remains that the Chinese found that markets and communism could coexist, albeit in the Chinese case in a somewhat malformed fashion.
Where the Stalinist navigated into horror, the Chinese found something that points to a future solution.
We can’t be naive about that: the overall result is a failure and repressive, but it points to what our DMNC indicates in some realistic attempt to move past pure capitalism.
In the end, the Marxist legacy has failed and we have never seen success, but the Chinese case remains a curious experiment and exit strategy.
The left needs to move beyond marxism and reinvent itself into some form that can reconcile planning, markets, ecology, and democracy.
Its current form is inert at this point because the failed legacy is all too obvious.